Caulder Harvill-Childs (AB ’12) accepted two new roles recently- one as the Senior Consultant with Deloitte Consulting and the second as a new member of the SPIA Alumni Board. As a board member, Caulder is looking forward to mentoring students through the unique career paths available to them in politics and government.
Some of his favorite memories from his undergraduate experience were not just on-campus but beyond the Arch. “The most fun times were always going down to the Florida-Georgia games.” He also traveled to D.C. as a participant of the Washington Semester Program twice, working for United State Senator Chambliss and with the General Electric Company the following semester. “I spent a large portion of my experience not on campus.”
Caulder started as an intern with U.S. Senator Chambliss’ office and had the opportunity to participate in significant military affairs policy. He was regularly invited to sit in on the Senate Armed Services Committee meetings and gained valuable insight into how policies are amended and updated over time.
His experience in the United States Senate set a foundation for his proceeding opportunity as General Electric’s first intern. He was able to help them develop a program from scratch and quickly learned the inner policy processes of a Fortune 500 company. At that time, there was a crisis in Fukushima, Japan. A tsunami caused a nuclear meltdown of two GE reactors, and Caulder was there to track the legislative concerns and see crisis management implemented on a global scale.
Because of his experiential learning opportunity with the Washington Semester Program Caulder states, “I got to do some substantial work as a 19 year old.”
The connections he made during his time with the program brought him back to D.C. after graduation. He worked with UGA’s Federal Relations Director and together, they were pivotal in getting Delta Hall opened in D.C.
After spending years in the city that he loved, Caulder made the decision to return home. “I decided my heart was in state politics,” said Harvill-Childs. He came back to Georgia and worked for the State House Majority Leader, Jon Burns. As his dream of being in D.C. shifted, Caulder learned the importance of pivoting as you grow. He encourages students to be open to new experiences.
“Don’t be afraid to try new stuff. If you want to go to D.C., do it, but also try the GLIP [Georgia Legislative Intern Program]. Put yourself in other situations” that can facilitate your learning and growth.
When asked what advice he would share with students looking to find their place in government and politics, Caulder recommends building your network. “Be nice to every person you meet. Be genuinely interested in people. Learn how to have conversations and get to know people at a deeper level. Because you never know who is going to be in a good spot to help you out.”
If you want to help provide current SPIA students with opportunities similar to Caulder’s life-changing experiences, consider hiring a SPIA student for an internship or giving to the SPIA Experiential Learning Fund. Have an internship opportunity for a SPIA student? Contact Ms. Kathryn Veale at [email protected].